numbly out the plane’s window. The wet tarmac reflected her gloomy mood.
Leaving Ernehaven had left her feeling adrift, detached, but losing Dana was
worse. She had an actual pain in her heart.
she could still taste her salty skin, still feel her smooth skin and exciting
curves, still remember the way she shuddered during climax, and how she curled
her body against hers after... STOP! Thinking about her only makes it hurt
used to being alone. The Lairds had paired them from the beginning. They did
everything together--ate, slept, bathed; they even ran together in harness;
they were even punished for the other’s offenses. Of course, they had become
lovers. Dana had been her lifeline, her connection to reality.
A tear ran
down her face and she quickly wiped it away. The Lairds punished them for
tears, she remembered. They demanded obedience and acceptance; tears said they
had regrets. She had never fully understood that axiom; sometimes tears just
said it hurt. Like now, it hurt.
the right decision with Ernehaven and with ... Dominus. She had no hesitation,
no doubt about this; she had found her place in the world. They demanded a lot
and only promised her ... a master, but that was enough. Being dominated, being
owned was her role in life. She had denied that truth for too long; she had
fought the idea too hard and nearly been destroyed by it.
Why was it
so important for her to have a master, she wondered idly? Was she really so
deeply submissive that she needed someone dominating her to feel good about
herself? Yes. Yes, a thousand times, yes. Her life had been a mess before
Ernehaven; she would never return to that. Even if she was only substituting one
insanity for another, she would never again deny who she was.
She took a
deep breath and tried to shake off the sadness, to disperse the ennui that hung
over her head like a dark cloud. Why was she feeling so badly? Life was a book
full of chapters--they taught her that; they taught her to obey, yet here she
was resenting their decisions. She belonged to something now--something
powerful and mysterious, something that could give her what she desperately needed
to survive. Don’t fuck it up just because you’re feeling sad.
on the reflection of her face in the Plexiglas.
incredible that she missed Ernehaven, she thought. The bondage and discipline
the Lairds used to train them had been horrible. She and Dana had cried in each
other’s arms all the time from the pain. Even now, it hurt to remember ...
perhaps that was the point--they wanted her to remember the pain. Whatever, they
had turned her from a mentally unstable waif into a beautiful and desirable slave.
At least that’s the way they saw it. Was that what she wanted ... was that what
ridiculous! Why was she feeling so unsure of things now? There was never any ambiguity
at Ernehaven, no self-doubt, no role confusion, no hidden urges or unmet needs.
The Lairds were the masters and the novitiates were their slaves. Disobedience
or disrespect were always answered with suffering; compliance was always eventually
rewarded with ecstasy--with orgasms of such indescribable intensity they literally
touched her nipple through her thin shirt remembering how they had hardened, how
they had pulsated with blood whenever...
back over her shoulder. People were filing into their seats, but no one had
noticed her touching. This was the real world, the normal world. People didn’t
touch themselves in public; they didn’t get off on their erotic thoughts.
back to the window.
she wondered? Now that Ernehaven was over, what plan did they have for her? They
said she was one of them; that they would protect her, guide her. Exactly how
was that going to happen? Her driver had handed her a plane ticket and an
overnight bag when he dropped her at Heathrow. That was it--no orders, no
instructions, nothing--just a plane ticket and a change of clothes. What was
she supposed to think, what was she supposed to do?
was certainly a dour place in the rain, a melancholy place. For all its frantic
activity, it seemed inhuman, purposeless, as if everyone was going through the
motions of life without any passion for it. She watched a baggage handler
carelessly toss bags onto the conveyor. For some reason his bulging muscles
reminded her of Dana.
She just couldn’t get her out of her mind.
time she had seen Dana she was part of a coffle, chained and naked, incredibly luscious,
awaiting her turn on the block. The Lairds had bound her arms tightly behind
her back and put a detestable hood over her head. The hood prevented them from
saying goodbye, from even a last glance, a last look at her amazingly sensuous
not been thinking about separation at that moment. The only thing she could
think about was the pain of the auctioneer’s strap on her bare ass. She shuddered,
remembering the agony of his leather on her bare skin, the helplessness--they
had lifted her bound arms behind in a strappado and anchored her legs to floor
cleats. There was no escape no way to avoid the strap’s terrible burning heat.
She had screamed into the room’s darkness, pleaded with someone in the
invisible audience to help her, knowing that would never happen at Ernehaven.
The entire purpose of Ernehaven was to push the limits of female submission,
why would someone help her.
trembled with the memory of that night. She knew what she looked like on the
block. There was no way any man in that audience was going to help her. She had
smelled their lust; she had felt the air vibrating with their need; she had
imagined their rapacious stares. At that moment, she was raw meat hung up in
front of a pack of starving wolves.
she didn’t hate them. They were men acting like men, acting the way nature had
made them. So was she for that matter. She had felt her insides churning with
raw desire. There was no outrage, no humiliation--Ernehaven had wrung those feelings
out of her long before the auction. She only felt raw fear, piercing pain, and unending
lust. She was one of them at that moment; she was part of nature’s plan and it
felt ... right.
at the rippling arm muscles of the careless baggage handler.
weird, but the more she suffered at Ernehaven, the more the Lairds humiliated
her, the more she felt like she had found her place in the world. Part of this
was the attention of course. No one in her family, no one in her isolated Swiss
village had ever paid much attention to her. She was a widower’s oldest child;
people simply expected her to be loyal, dutiful.
shocked when she had her “breakdown,” shocked and outraged. It was hard to think
about that time, how she had foolishly confessed her feelings to her fiancé,
how he had betrayed her to her father, how together they had exiled her. Their
actions had pushed her over the edge, Marie, her sister, had tried to
intercede, but her father’s anger was unquenchable. She was not yet 21 and
therefore a minor under Swiss law. Her father had the right to have her
another deep breath and sighed heavily. It wasn’t easy to remember these
at Ernehaven had saved her, set her on a path that had eventually calmed her
mind. Perhaps she should be grateful to her father and her fiancé, she thought
bitterly; without their treachery towards her, she would surely have gone
A man slipped
into the seat at her side and she turned in surprise. He was young, perhaps mid
30s, with a boyish face and a slim, athletic body. He smiled pleasantly; she smiled
back uneasily then returned to staring out the window. The Lairds would not
want their ward engaging with a stranger.
felt strange in her mind. She had been a novitiate during her time at
Ernehaven; now she was a ward ... of Dominus. What did this mean exactly? She
had looked up the word on the driver’s smart phone. It referred to someone who
was under the protection of or in the custody of another. Who was that, she
wondered? Who was her protector now, her custodian?
attendant was holding a tray of glasses.
“We have Champaign,
mimosas, or straight orange juice if you prefer.”
at her, confused. The woman pursed her lips as if to say, “Decide bitch, I’m
busy.” She had never tasted alcohol; only the men in the village drank alcohol.
She had no idea what a mimosa was. Would she look childish taking an orange
“Try the mimosa,”
the stranger beside her suggested. “They are delicious.”
at him, her waif-like eyes wide open, and took the proffered glass. He took one
as well then raised his glass in a silent toast and drank; she followed suit. The
liquid tickled her throat. He was right it was delicious.
live in New York?” he asked, the ice broken.
obvious he was just making light, polite conversation.
away again, confused. Was he hitting on her? Did the masters want her talking
to strangers? Was she supposed to ignore him? No one had given her a list of
do’s and don’ts when she left. The only guidance she had were the rules she had
lived by for the last year, rules seared into her mind by the Lairds’
punishment. She suddenly remembered the pain--ignoring a man’s direct question always
resulted in pain.
“I, ah, I don’t
instantly realized the stupidity of her answer and quickly added a feasible
is meeting me in New York,” she blurted. “They, ah, we will figure out where
we’re living when I arrive. It’s all a bit up in the air.”
her lower lip then smiled, embarrassed at her idiotic answer. She had started
with the truth--she didn’t know if she was to live in New York--but ended with
a feeble lie. She wasn’t used to lying--the Lairds always demanded the truth,
the full truth. Still, it would have been worse to ignore him.
back. She suddenly felt sure he would have smiled at whatever she said. Was he really
hitting on her, she wondered? Men never flirted with the girls at Ernehaven;
they just took what they wanted. It was interesting and a little frightening to
have someone court her.
“Are you a
model, an actress? You have the look of one.”
her head shyly unused to complements. She knew she was pretty, perhaps even
beautiful, but no one had ever told her that during her childhood. They
believed such complements encouraged vanity. Her village was composed of ultra-conservative
Lutherans who studiously ignored physical beauty. Even at Ernehaven, her looks
were irrelevant. All the girls at Ernehaven were beautiful; she was just
another one of them, nothing special.
She took a
long drink from the mimosa glass clearly intent on avoiding the question. He
seemed to get the hint.
Angus,” he said, holding out his hand.
surprised her. It reminded her of her interrogator at Ernehaven.
is three ... no, ah, it’s ah, Marie, Marie-Pierre Saint-Yves.”
turned bright red. How incredibly stupid she was! She could not use her Dominus
number--347--here. This was the real world where people had actual names not
numbers. Her mistake was understandable enough, almost excusable, but why did
she then give this stranger her real name, her real full name? Wasn’t she
supposed to remain anonymous especially with a stranger?
The word screamed
out in her mind out of total frustration. No one had told her to use an alias
and her documents had her real name. Weren’t people looking for her ... weren’t
the Swiss authorities looking for her? She didn’t know. What was her
status--escaped mental patient? Wasn’t she just going to end up back in the institution
if they found her? How good was Dominus’ protection if they caught her and sent
her back? This was absurd. Why had they left her so exposed?
did you say?” he asked, obviously aware that something was wrong. Someone who
didn’t know her own name was clearly doing something wrong, clearly suspect...of
ah, Marie. My name is Marie,” she added emphatically, highlighting her devious
desperately wanted to end this conversation, to turn away and ignore this
stranger for the next seven hours. Wouldn’t that call even more attention on
her? Why hadn’t someone given her instructions; why hadn’t they briefed her on
what they wanted her to say, how they wanted her to act? This was their fault.
The plane moved ponderously away from the moveable gangway and began to taxi.
turn your attention to the monitors for the pre-flight passenger briefing...”
pointed at the monitor and turned her attention to the front as ordered. Her
relief at the distraction was also obvious.
to sleep during the plane’s ascent. With her bare feet pulled up and tucked
under her long legs, it looked plausible that she was asleep. The Lufthansa flight
attendant blew up the ruse by insistently shaking her shoulder to ask if she
wanted lunch. She should have known they wouldn’t leave her alone; it was not
very German to miss lunch.
mimosa before lunch, Miss?” the attendant asked with an infuriatingly nasal
nodded. She didn’t want any more conversation with this bitch than necessary.
insists their first-class passengers taste their wonderful food,” the man,
Angus, said quietly. “They think it’s good for public relations, word-of-mouth
smiled at him in the icy-cold way only a beautiful girl can manage. She felt
harried, on the defensive; she needed everyone to leave her alone until her Dominus
handler made contact. Who knew how many mistakes she would make between now and
then by talking? It was sloppy, unforgiveable for Dominus to leave her alone like
this. Sloppy, unforgiveable, and ... fucking dangerous--what if the authorities
caught her; what if they forced her to tell them about the institution, about
Ernehaven, about the auction, and all the terrible things that had gone on in
Scotland? What if they wanted...
your boyfriend...?” Angus asked, forking the appetizer into his mouth.
turned to him confused.
your boyfriend who is meeting you in New York? Is he the one who’s going to
help you figure out where you are going to live?”
at him trying desperately to remember what she had already told him. He must
think she was an illegal immigrant or a highjacker. Once again, she cursed the
men who had put her in this impossible situation. What would Dana do? She
always seemed to have her shit together, to know exactly how to respond to
boyfriend; we need to decide where we are going to live.” She knew she needed
to explain further to allay his suspicions. “He’s ... he is a software
engineer. He works for a big company ... at their headquarters in Los Angeles.
They are negotiating where he will be based. That’s why I don’t know where I
felt proud of herself. It was a good story she’d invented ... and on the fly.
The story should end his flirtatious curiosity. Most men don’t pursue woman
with live-in boyfriends ... two birds with one stone.
software engineer... What company?”
at him--a deer caught in a car’s headlights--then shook her head stupidly.
company does he work for in California?” he persisted.
“Ah, A ...
again. She was beginning to despise his infuriating smile.
Computer...? I thought Apple’s headquarters were in Silicon Valley, in
Cupertino. That’s near San Francisco not Los Angeles.”
red again, cursing her inadequate preparation. How was she supposed to survive
in New York without a cover story? How was she going to...?
He took a
sip of his wine and turned to face her.
seems to be a lot about your life that you don’t know, Marie,” he said quietly.
“Perhaps you would like to start over with the truth? I have always found the
truth to be the easiest course of action.”
His tone of voice had changed. Was he a police officer? She knew air marshals flew
on most international flights to the U.S. Was he one of them. It would make
sense for an air marshal to fly first-class, to guard the door to the plane’s
continued to stare sternly at her.
you should have asked my full name. It’s Angus Evan MacCarthy.”
beautiful eyes widened and she stared intently at his face. She had not really
seen Angus Evan MacCarthy’s face in the dark dungeon cell at Ernehaven, but she
had heard his voice. This man’s voice wasn’t his. Not only that, her Angus was
much older, much more...
“I see you
over to whisper in her ear.
Evan MacCarthy’ is a code name, Marie. It’s the way you will recognize one of
us. Did you really think we would abandon you, 347? You must have more faith in
your masters, much more faith.”
glanced quickly at his hand. There was no D-ring. The interrogator, Angus, had
told her to obey any man who wore an iron ring that fit inside hers. He said...
masters wear the D-ring,” he said, guessing her question. “There are thousands
of us who are part of Dominus, but only the masters wear the ring. Rules ... you
know about rules, right?”
she whispered hesitantly.
course, do you think an organization as old and as powerful as the Dominus Society
would operate on an ad hoc basis. We have rules and procedures for everything
especially when it involves one of our precious wards. Didn’t you see that
during your time at Ernehaven?”
know what to say. The Lairds had filled her time at Ernehaven with long periods
of terror interspersed with moments of sublime pleasure. There had not been
much time to think about the “why” of things. How could she possibly understand
the Lairds’ purpose? Dana told her to concentrate on whatever it was they
wanted her to concentrate on, to avoid the blocks at all cost.
... a hideous punishment device used to keep novitiates’ minds from wandering.
need to be smarter in New York, Marie,” he said. “We have big plans for you
there, but you will need to keep your wits about you. Perhaps you need more
time at Ernehaven...?”
to show he was joking. Her relief was obvious. As much as she missed the
security of Ernehaven, it was time for her to rejoin the world. She relaxed, more
comfortable now that someone, a man was in charge.
ward has an advisor; I am yours. My name is Robert Ainsley. You can call me
Robert in public and I will call you Marie. Understand?”
“Yes, ah, Robert...”
tension was flowing out of her body. For the first time since boarding the
plane, she began to feel at ease. Dominus had not deserted her. They would
never desert her.
plans, Robert?” she asked.
His eyes registered
surprise for a moment. The Lairds did not permit novitiates to ask questions ...
question...?” he asked in a stern voice.
her eyes. She would never have had the nerve to ask a question at Ernehaven.
Suddenly, he smiled, pleased that she was already transitioning to normalcy.
“We want you
to become a fashion model, 347. You have exactly the right look for it--sexy,
sultry, but also innocent. Our experts have seen your photos and they are
excited by the possibilities.”
model ... she knew nothing about fashion, nothing. How was she going to...?
into his pocket and his hand emerged with something shiny.
rules still have consequences, however, even in this world, especially in this
world. You understand that I need to punish you.”
up at him, her eyes wide in surprise. Ernehaven and its rules seemed a million
miles away. Robert smiled patiently and she trembled in anticipation, feeling
the familiar contradiction of terror and excitement.
no escape for her from their domination. Did she want to escape? Ernehaven had
revealed her submissive nature then proved it to her a hundred times. She hated
the helplessness of bondage, pain of punishment, but she also needed these
things to survive.
I need to be punished.”
knot had formed in her stomach from the fear. Punishment hurt terribly and like
any normal person, she was afraid of it. Unlike some, however, she knew it was also
a gateway to something amazing. Her submissiveness defined her as a person. It
was a part of her now. There was no way she could...
his hand. Inside were two piranha clips. She suddenly trembled with the memory
of their bite. They would send streaks of pain into her brain for an hour
before her nipples became too numb to transmit the agony. The Lairds at
Ernehaven had used piranha to teach indelible lessons.
she whimpered. “Not here...”
he was going to clamp her nipples under her shirt. She wasn’t sure she could
hide that much pain from those in the aisles.
not here, 347; do you think I’m stupid? You need to go into the lavatory, strip
off your clothes, and kneel on the floor. Once you are in this position, you
will put these on your nipples, cross your hands behind your back, and wait. I will
come to you in ten minutes and you will unlock the door. If you show proper
contrition, I will let you return to your seat. If not...”
the threat open. She knew this wasn’t about the minor question she had asked.
She knew he needed to implant his authority in her mind. This was how they did
it, with pain.
Lairds told me that your nipples can transmit piranha pain for nearly an hour.
Don’t make me find that out for myself.”
He raised his
hand and she gingerly took the clamps, holding them as if they were living
things. She turned to him once more twisting her sensuous face into a last, piteous
plea for mercy. Most men would have relented, but Robert just continued to
smile. She stood without a word and stepped into the aisle. She was still barefooted;
girls were always barefooted at Ernehaven during punishment. It was a symbol of
their submission, their helplessness. Without another word, she walked away slipping
unnoticed into one of the luxurious first-class lavatories.